When to Upgrade macOS and Windows to the next major Operating System Release
Every year Apple releases a new major version to macOS. and Microsoft releases major Windows updates on a regular basis now as well. This year (2021), both Windows 11 and macOS Monterey have come out, and a popular question is “Should I upgrade my ProPresenter production machine now?”
This article is designed to help you decide.
There are 4 things to consider:
- The test of time
- User feedback
- Hardware compatibilities
- 3rd Party Software compatibilities
Give It Some Time
This first one is simple: give it some time. Don’t install new operating systems the day they come out. Wait a couple months. If you have a spare machine to test on, go for it, but if you’re installing a new operating system just for fun, then this article isn’t for you anyway.
Apple’s yearly macOS releases are usually modest in the foundational classes used , but there are always some tweaks under the hood. You don’t want these tweaks to break your production machine. Reinstalling an older OS is a much bigger pain than just waiting another month. Play it safe. If you don’t have a specific need for upgrading, then hold off for a little bit to make sure the OS has had enough time to mature.
Check User Feedback
Check popular online communities to see whether or not other users are having a good experience with the new OS. For ProPresenter, the Official Users Community is a great place to look. Maybe users have noticed a glitch that’s a dealbreaker for your setup. Start by always using search before posting. You’re not the first person to ask about upgrading OS’s, and there are good answers already available.
Check Your Hardware
The new operating system will have a list of compatible hardware. For macOS, it will list the various Mac years and models that the latest OS can work with. For Windows, it will have minimum system requirements like RAM, hard drive space, and CPU speed.
System minimum specs tend to be low enough that the OS can run on low-end systems, and you don’t want to try running beneath them.
If your system isn’t up to spec, you probably don’t want to put the effort into upgrading really old hardware. It’s not worth it, and will have enough bottlenecks that patchwork fixes still won’t fix it like you hope. It’s time for a trip to the store.
Check 3rd Party Software & Hardware
This is the part that takes some work but saves you the most headaches. Make a list of mission-critical software running on the machine. ProPresenter? Blackmagic drivers? Dante? Adobe? Any other video or audio software and hardware that is mission-critical?
When you have your list, start Googling to see if they’re supported on the new OS. If something is not supported, make a note and keep going down the list.
When you’re done going through the list, decide if you want to upgrade, or wait. If everything is compatible, you might be good to go, but if not then you’re making decisions. In general, the easiest decision is to wait a couple of months.
Typically, operating systems are supported for ~5 years after they’re released, so even if you decide not to upgrade immediately, you still have time.
But doesn’t Renewed Vision test the Betas of these Operating Systems?
We strive to keep up with the latest technologies with our software, and want to provide releases of all of our products for new operating systems as soon as possible. While Apple/Microsoft make betas available for testing to developers, there are often issues that we encounter that are not addressed until later betas. Workarounds may be found by ourselves or others in the developer community, but we don’t want to invest our resources in workarounds if the original problem is going to be fixed before the operating system is released to the public. Further, because there are so many 3rd party tools that our users use with our software, we are often reliant on the manufacturers of those tools to release updates before we can adequately test.
Upgrading OS’s can be a chore, and this gives you a good overview of the timing, but don’t forget the basics: backup your files first. There are many articles online about how to backup your files. Don’t do the upgrade right before you have a show. Give yourself lots of time to test the system before it’s used live.
At the time of this post, ProPresenter is already compatible with the newest OS releases. Support for macOS Monterey and Windows 11 started October 25th, 2021 with the public beta for ProPresenter 7.7.1 and forward.
Enjoyed this article? Next, read “Practical Tips to Optimize Your Computer for ProPresenter”.